Monday, December 12, 2011

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Pink!!

I think at least those of us living in the north can agree that winter is a bleak time with a palette that basically ranges from black to grey. It's hard not to feel a little brought down by all of the dark shades of winter, coupled with the freezing (literally) weather and the grey pall that covers the sky. Recently on blogs, however, I've seen much welcome pops of colors amidst the sea of monotone, which I really hope to see translating onto the streets soon. The primary culprit of these surprising breaks in a basic all black winter outfit? PINK! I'm not a super girly girl, but I have my moments, and I can appreciate pink in moderation for sure.

I even put a few pink items on my finalized Christmas list (which my mom finally got me to cut down and specify). Honestly though, am I the only one who finds the holiday season a little...stressful? This year I've vowed to get all of my shopping done online to really minimize the stress, and I advise, if possible, that you all do the same--anything to minimize that holiday stress...Anyway, here are some really chic examples of how you can incorporate splashes of pink into your holiday wardrobe! 

Zara Purl Knit Sweater
Markey HQ Anywhere Ankle Boot
Cambridge Satchel Company Neon Bag (pink)
Hot Pink Socks
My Very Own Lancôme "S.O.S Pink"
Fun Tacky Stuff!

See? Whether it's your makeup, your accessories or your clothes, pink really just works in the winter (plus your serotonin will thank you)! So go out there and get your girl on! And as they say here in Montreal (even on the bus monitors), joyeuses fêtes! 

Ciao for now xx

P.S. For you fellow fashion bloggers out there, I came across this really interesting TED talk from a very successful "ego blogger" that you guys should find pretty interesting. I found it really useful and inspirational!

*Photos from and

Saturday, December 10, 2011

¡HALA MADRID (fashion)!

It's no secret that moving to a different city can subtly change a person's style, especially when that city is completely foreign and on the other side of the world. Today Real Madrid plays FC Barcelona (soccer teams for those who don't know) and the hype is bringing me back to those four months I spent living in Spain's capital.

Madrid was a really nice break from Boston's uptight homogenous style, but I also found that there were some unspoken rules that were expected to be adhered--and the only way one would find out about such rules was by wearing something seemingly harmless out of the house, and then being stared at on the metro, or walking down the street, or in a restaurant. Madrileños aren't exactly shy about staring in a way that would be considered rude in any American city. For example, going into my semester abroad, I knew that walking around barefoot was considered rude because feet have some sort of stigma in Spain. However,  I didn't realize that along with this basic rule of always wearing house slippers or socks, it was pretty much necessary to always wear stockings or socks, even in 90 degree weather. If a girl wore flats, she also wore sheer stocking socks, and if she wore shorts, she also wore sheer or nude stockings. This fad struck me as really odd, and I think it also has a lot to do with their aversion to a natural look. Most Madrileños wear A LOT of make up, spend a lot of time on hair etc etc. Not that there is anything wrong with a look that's a little was just a big leap from Boston, which has always been a bit more about celebrating natural beauty---probably because there are so many college students, while Madrid's mean age is a lot higher, so much so that it's creating problems with social security. On that note I also seemed to get the stink eye when I went outside with damp hair or no makeup...

ANYWAY, I did not create this post to bash Madrid fashion, because there are parts of it that I really love, and I bought some great pieces while I was over there. Some of my favorite places to shop in Madrid were H&M (for some reason it's just better in Europe, and kind of sucks in the states), Pull & Bear, Bershka, Mango and Zara (duh!). Here are some of my favorite things I picked up: 

Zara Zebra Shirt
Pleated Black Bershka Skirt

Pleated H&M Shirt
Mango Sweater

Mango Dress

All in all Madrid's style takes more risk than Boston's, but is a lot like New York in that the palette tends to be darker, a lot of black, but still fashion forward. It's a place to take big risks with nighttime fashion, for clubs, bars etc. Madrid is the best place in the world to find a fun time at any hour of the night/early morning...oh the times I tip-toed into my señora's house at 6 AM. I miss Madrid a lot at times, even though being abroad coupled with the culture shock made for a roller coaster experience. Fashion may be slightly different in the major cities across the globe, but I think trends are universal, and it's possible to make any culture's fashion a part of your personal style. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Madrid! 

Ciao for now xx

Friday, December 9, 2011

Controversy Couture

Finals are finally almost over, and I can now resume my normal schedule of blogging (almost) everyday! These past few days I've had some time to think about my blog and the direction that I want to take it, and I realized that once and a while I'd like to bring a more academic edge to my posts. I am graduating soon, and I can't pretend that my education hasn't shaped a huge part of my life and the person that I am today. I'm proud of the critical thinker I've become over the past 4 (and 1/2) years, so why not exercise the ol' neurons and synapses from time to time--that's what my Controversy Couture posts will aim to do. 

Last week I gave a brief presentation in one of my English classes regarding the role of children in fashion advertisements, and particularly how they are either made to look younger than they are and sexy, or older than they are and still sexy. I find both of these tactics quite disturbing. Various ads have come out recently portraying children as adults and as objects of desire, which really seems to blur the line between what is appropriate and inappropriate regarding the portrayal of children in the media.

One particularly disturbing ad by Marc Jacobs was recently banned in the UK due to "sexualizing a child" and really jumped out at me because of its obvious reference to Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I think the concept of a "Lolita" has really altered since the book was released into quite a disturbing ideal. The story of Lolita has become so romanticized, when realistically it was a story about a 12 year old girl being sexually abused and taken advantage of by a middle aged man. In the book, for those who have not read it, Humbert Humbert, the pedophile, kidnaps Lolita after her mom dies, drugs her and sexually abuses her.  In an article regarding the ad, Marc Jacobs is quoted as wanting to portray Dakota Fanning as a "contemporary Lolita...seductive, yet sweet." This quote really struck an odd chord with me because I remember reading the novel and finding it very disturbing, so it seems so strange to me that anyone would want to romanticize this story. Why as a culture do we idealize youth to the point that fashion ads have become borderline pedophilic?

I mean it's so obviously sexual in nature, yet it also promotes this idea that children I can totally understand why something like this would be banned in Britain.

More recently, I read this article on regarding a line of French lingerie for children. Um, what?? For what purpose do children need lingerie, right?? Here we see the same problem that we see in many recent fashion ads from the odd Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau photos to the beyond-her-years Hailee Steinfeld Miu Miu ads. To quote from the article, "despite being more age-appropriate, even the photographs for the “femme” collection are unsettling. The way the young-looking model is posed with that sunglasses-wearing teddy bear–she’s made to look like a child, while the actual children are made to look like adults." 

Some people are saying that Americans have a "prudish" attitude towards this line, but I don't really think that's what it is. If kids are running around in bathing suits that's one thing, but to deliberately make them look younger or older in an attempt to sexualize them?? I just feel like this youth thing in our nation is going a little too far. Some claim that such advertising is meant to be satirical, but as points out, "regardless of the intention for the...photographs, children are still being used to convey it. And even if the intended message is sympathetic to these child models, we’re nevertheless seeing these girls with a projected adult sexuality — we’re still being asked to view them in an adult way." It seems this misguided romanticized "Lolita" idea has pervaded the fashion world in more ways than one, and I'm inclined to agree that it reflects poorly on the industry as a whole. What do you think? Do these types of ads have a place in our society? Or are they just exploiting children and sexualizing them? 

Can you tell I've been writing essays all week? Haha. Well, hopefully this inspired you to think a bit about some aspects of fashion from a more critical stand point. Tomorrow, something a little more fun, I promise! 

Ciao for now xx 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

That Time When Finals Ate My Life

Hello! I am alive! And I've been dying to blog, I swear, it' I know, lame excuse, plenty of people go to school or have jobs and still manage to blog, but seriously, it's the start of finals, meaning I really need to 180 my lazy 'tude and start cranking out the papers. Therefore, up until about next Friday my blogging is going to be a bit sporadic and random BUT still awesome and entertaining and aimed at being fantastic. Bueno? 

So, what has been the apple of my eye these days? There are few things I've been obsessing over as of late, oddly enough makeup is one of them! I really don't enjoy wearing a lot of makeup (I'm more into the natural look), but I really like watching people put it on...that sounds creepy and voyeuristic. I just mean that observing a good makeup artist is like watching a really skilled painter, only the art ends up on a two inch space on her face. I've been really into the blog Dulce Candy lately for this reason, and I suggest taking a peak. Also, from her blog, I've found some really cool suggestions for potential stocking stuffers or cute gifts for friends (or yourself). 

Nyx Matte Lipstick "Shocking Pink"

Nyx Matte Lipstick "Hippie Chic"

Sample of "Hippie Chic"
Because everyone needs a good nude lip color and an outrageous Barbie pink one! Also Nyx has really good reviews across the board AND it's super cheap (6$ for a tube of this stuff!). The other thing I've been really torturing myself with is just staring at pictures of beautiful color-blocked sparkly shoes...yes please!

ASOS Hampton Platform Color Blocked Heeled Sandals
ASOS Pelican Platform Toe Car Print Block Heels
ASOS Hush Color Blocked Bow Platform Sandal

ASOS Hush Color Blocked Bow Platform Sandal

ASOS Hysteric Glitter Platform High Sandals
ASOS Sonya Bow Toe Cap Mary Jane Shoes
ASOS Pace Suede Double Strap Platform High Shoe

I just think they bring a really cool new flavor to a classic holiday party outfit. If I could get one, I'd have to go with the Hamptons. I mean, how gorgeous would they look with a chic Little Black Dress on New Year's? Well, hopefully you'll be hearing from me soon, blogging is such a great outlet for me, I really do plan on writing sooner than later. What's on your Christmas list this year? Time to start thinking about it! The holiday season is upon us. I'll leave you off with a classic (a.k.a NOT the Biebes' version)...

Ciao for now xx